Rolls-Royce: Successful simulation of hybrid train operation on Lake Constance Belt Railway (Bodenseegürtelbahn)

Rolls-Royce: Successful simulation of hybrid train operation on Lake Constance Belt Railway (Bodenseegürtelbahn)

  • Successful simulation of hybrid train operation on Lake Constance Belt Railway
  • MTU Hybrid PowerPack reduces emissions, noise levels and operating costs on the existing infrastructure
  • Development is part of the Rolls-Royce electrification strategy

Friedrichshafen, Germany, 10-May-2018 — /EuropaWire/ — The MTU Hybrid PowerPack from Rolls-Royce could be used on the Lake Constance Belt Railway (Bodenseegürtelbahn) and thus simultaneously provide environmentally friendly, economic and reliable rail operations even before electrification of the line. These are the findings of simulations that have been carried out by MTU on behalf of the Lake Constance Belt Railway community of interest (Interessenverband Bodenseegürtelbahn). Local emission-free operations, in urban areas and tunnels, for example, are feasible. Compared with a train driven by diesel engines alone, CO2emissions can be reduced by up to 20 per cent using the hybrid drive system on this route. Generally speaking, these findings are also applicable to other routes. On an MTU test bench, the route between Radolfzell and Friedrichshafen was covered with a real-life Hybrid PowerPack and a computer-simulated environment (consisting of vehicle and route). It was shown that trains equipped with the MTU hybrid drive were able to keep to current timetables and timetables required in the future.

“With the Hybrid PowerPack, we are offering an environmentally-friendly rail drive solution that combines the benefits of battery and diesel-driven trains,“ said Lars Kräft, Vice President Industrial Business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “Trains fitted with our hybrid drive system could improve operations on the Lake Constance Belt Railway within just a few years – with considerably less noise, fewer emissions and more connections with more stops – and this can be done with no additional infrastructure costs.“

The operation of the current VT 612 railcar was simulated – it had been retrofitted in virtual reality with MTU Hybrid PowerPacks. That such a retrofit is also possible in a real-world environment has also been demonstrated by a feasibility study carried out by the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary, DB Systemtechnik. This is particularly relevant because these are vehicles that travel fast on curving track. Only these trains, which are fitted with “tilt technology“, are able to negotiate the numerous curves encountered on the Lake Constance Belt Railway track at high speed and thus provide a fast service between Basel and Ulm.

The MTU Hybrid PowerPack is a high-tech product from Friedrichshafen and the result of collaboration between the local companies Rolls-Royce Power Systems and ZF Friedrichshafen. It combines the following components to produce an intelligent drive system: a modern MTU diesel engine with exhaust gas aftertreatment, which meets current emission regulations in addition to the future EU Stage V that will come into force as of 2021, an innovative ZF automatic transmission, an electric motor that recovers energy in braking mode and also serves as a drive unit, and an advanced battery system to store the recovered brake energy. The Hybrid PowerPack has demonstrated its reliability, for example, in real-life test runs with a length of around 15,000 kilometres.

The technology is an important milestone on the way to the hybridisation and electrification of MTU drive systems, which are a current focus of developments at Rolls-Royce Power Systems. The company is working on a range of technologies now being developed primarily for rail, marine and power generation applications, which are to go into series production in the near future. These include so-called microgrid energy systems, which combine solar energy, gas gensets and battery storage systems. But hybrid drive systems for yachts will also be included in the range of products available from MTU in the future.

Press photos are available for download from

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver the cleanest, safest and most competitive solutions to our planet’s vital power needs.
  2. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs around 10,000 people. The product portfolio includes MTU-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry. Under the MTU Onsite Energy brand, the company markets diesel gensets for emergency, base load and peak load applications as well as cogeneration plants using gas engines for the combined generation of heat and power. Bergen medium-speed engines power ships and power generation applications. L’Orange completes the portfolio with fuel injection systems for large engines.
  3. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
  4. Annual underlying revenue was £15 billion in 2017, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £78.5 billion at the end of December 2017.
  5. In 2017, Rolls-Royce invested £1.4 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  6. Rolls-Royce employs almost 50,000 people in 50 countries. More than 16,500 of these are engineers.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2016 we recruited 274 graduates and 327 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes.


Silke Rockenstein
External Communications Manager
Trade Media

SOURCE: Rolls-Royce plc.



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